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Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Pismo
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Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

I've dug in my heels and want to get to Kauai either this October or early November (2012.). I can fly direct from Santa Maria CA to Honolulu, but I'm a first-timer flying alone

and want to get to Kauai efficiently since time is limited.

I LOVE TO SWIM! Since the weather may be uncertain on the North Coast (where I really long to be!!!) can anyone advice me as to the best pools/beaches for athletic swimming while enjoying the best of this island in a limited time? I've read much but have become confused given seasonal/weather/coastal changes that are so divergent.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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1. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

In October/November you're more assured of good weather and swimming conditions on the south shore. Look at Po`ipu. If you're lucky there will be days when you can swim north shore, too.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

If the surf is low on the North Side --> Hanalei Bay is great. If it's rough..

Poipu is probably a safer bet in Novy. We're already having high surf on the north/north east side. It was roaring out there this weekend.

California
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3. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

USUALLY, even if the outer reef of Hanalei Bay is rough (there's been 12 foot waves) you can still swim close to the shore. I see many people doing it during the entire year.

I usually go in mid October but am going early Nov this year, and have lucked out with the weather on the North Shore. There have been gray mornings and some evening rain, but it was lovely. It should be sunnier in Poipu as a rule and you can visit the North Shore at least one day.

You must be taking that new Agiant flight from Santa Maria. PLEASE let us know how you like it. Interisland flights are going to be expensive so check out Hawaiian Airlines for your way to get to Kauai. They are the best airline of the interisland carriers.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

100% agree that Hawiian Air is the best interisland! On our inbound flight to Kauai we flew directly from LAX to Lihue. On the return we had to fly through HNL. Unfortunately United booked us with IslandAir. What a terrible experience! I don't normally find fault but the flight, the personnel from the airport to the ground crew were terrible. I won't fly United again if I have to use IslandAir as one leg. The locals in HNL were laughing and saying that they never fly IslandAir and only use Hawaiian. Enjoy your trip and don't use IslandAir unless it's your only option. :-)

Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

That is interesting about island Air. We have flown island air and the personell were just fine.

They are now in the process of putting on brand new turbo props, and we will be flying with them in the futue when we fly inter island from our home island of Kauai.

Mainland travel however, we fly American direct to LAX.

We do not fly UNITED period ! There is a post of our blow by blow experience with United a few days back, and mention from others as to experiencing the same situations.

It would be nice to have some speciifics as to your terrible experience with island air. We will certainly then, keep an eye out for any of the same terrible treatment.

And exactly what type of encounter did you have with ground crew, and why ?.

We are both pilots, I am a retired professional pilot and Erica is a private pilot and aerobatic pilot and to us ground crew.......are those folks out on the ramp, stowing and unloading baggage, fueling, and directing ground operations involving the aircraft. We generally do not have any contact with grand crew....our contact is limited to check in, and gate agents.

We are actually looking forward to flying Island Air and in their brand new equipment on our next neighbor island stay cation. And if they are not squared away, and friendly and professional, I will certainly let the board know, but not in generalities.

Aslo, thanks to island air bringing on their new aircraft, and new routes and departures. I am sure that you are aware of Hawaiian dropping its airfares for a change due to the competition from island air.

And, just one additional HAWAIIAN Air factual incident. A couple of years ago, I had to get from kauai over to ohau immediately due to a fairly serious medical situation.

No choice, my orders form my VA doctor at my six month physical were GO, NOW, TODAY. IMMEDIATELY. I felt fine.

It was all totally unexpected...so I called hawaiian air, and they had open seats, and they knew I had no choice.... the air fare R/T for two of us was nearly $ 700.00. The flight, from rotation to touch down was 23 minutes.

And I was not laughing at all. But that was my only cost, since the VA took care of everything else.

I was not on vacation....I was checked into the VA hospital TRIPLER, the next morning an angio gram....the next day christmas eve a tripple by-pass open heart surgery. NO worries, the heart was healty but the pipes were 90% clogged up.

Personally, we live here, I am glad to see Island Air bringing on the new fleet of aircraft. It will also help to keep the inter island flights competitive.

Again, would like to hear why your flight was so terrible. And if you wrote to Island Air and let them know the circumstances. Especially if it involved rudeness, but more so if it involved safety of the aircraft or aircraft operations.

Mahlao

Denny

Princeville, Hawaii
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6. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Interesting. When we were leaving Lihue for the mainland this September for a visit. United booked us thru Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu etc. We had no problems.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Aloha,

Our bad experience with IslandAir was as follows: Neither of us took our laptops so the night before our 8:40 p.m. flight on IA, we went to the front desk at our condo. They don't have Internet at the front desk and directed us to a little room where you pay by the minute to use the computers. We tried to check-in online and were advised there is no online check-in, it would be airport check-in only. We paid the fee; no big deal but would have been nice to have online check-in.

The day of our evening flight, we checked out of our condo, did some activities, turned in the car and arrived at the airport several hours ahead of time, thinking we'd check our bags and have a drink. IA was closed. We went through the Ag check and sat there waiting for the desk to open so we could check our bags and go into the airport. At one point we went to the UA desk and asked if they could check us in. We were politely told that IA would have to do it.

A line formed at about the time we thought the desk would open. One of the groundcrew personnel came out and told us it would be at least 30 minutes before the desk opened. People in line were telling him that was unacceptable and we wouldn't make the flight, etc. He said neither desk personnel were on site but he would call them to see where they were. A few minutes later the desk opened.

The gal that was helping me acted like it was her first day. She checked me in, very slowly. I gave her my checked bag and she asked what about the other one. I said I was carrying that on (no response from her). She asked me for the bag-check fee. I told her I'd booked with my UA credit card and the bag was free. She argued with me. Luckily I had it on my reservation paperwork that 1 bag was free each way. I gave her the paperwork. She took it from me, never said a word, went to the back, came back, never said a word and handed me my boarding pass. I asked if she could check me through all the way to LAX. She said, 'no, you have to do that in HNL."

My sis was next. She'd lost her reservation paperwork but had remembered the confirmation code. She was rudely told that because she had no paperwork, they were unable to check her in. When she asked what her options were she was told she would have to go to the UA desk and have them give her paperwork showing she was on the flight; bring it back and IA would check her in. My sis started to argue with her. The IA employee went to the back and brought her supervisor back with her. The supervisor said she absolutely couldn't be checked in without paperwork and offered no alternative other than going back to the UA desk. I interrupted and asked if they could use her confirmation number to pull up her reservation. They took the number and were able to check her to HNL.

We rushed to the gate, went through security and headed onto the tarmac to board the flight. As I approached the plane, I left my carry-on next to the luggage truck (to be stowed underneath) as I had been told to do when I flew a similar plane to LAX from San Diego. As I was walking toward the plane, one of the groundcrew yelled after me that I couldn't leave my bag there. (Interestingly, this was the same woman that checked me in at the IA desk; had seen my carry-on bag and said nothing about checking it.) I reiterated I'd been told to do that previously and they would stow it underneath. She said I could not and I would have to take it on the plane. I told her I didn't think it would fit. She said to take it anyway. When I got on the plane and tried to fit the bag in the overhead, it wouldn't fit. I tried to fit it under the seat in front to no avail. I put it underneath the best I could and left it.

The stewardess came by and saw it. She was rude. She said, 'you should have checked this bag." I explained I thought it would go under the plane as I've done on many similar planes. She again said, 'you should have checked it"; grabbed the bag and tried to cram it under the seat in front lengthwise. When it wouldn't fit, she put it in with the handle towards me and walked off. Half of the suitcase was sticking out in front of me where I had no place to put my feet and had to use it as a footrest for the entire trip. That, to me, was a safety issue.

I fly a lot on all types and sizes of planes and I'm pretty flexible and patient. To me this was unusual, incompetent, rude and the bag was a safety issue. I will never fly IA again. On our inbound flight we flew LAX/LIH but on the outbound there wasn't that option available when we booked and unfortunately had to connect through HNL.

It was a great trip with a not-so-great ending.

Edited: 27 September 2012, 17:27
Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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8. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Just curious, are you taking Allegiant Air out of Santa Maria, CA.? I checked out their airfares for our next trip to Kauai. They only take you to Honolulu and you'll still need to pay for the inter-island. I priced it out and it was cheaper and a lot more convienent for us to fly from LAX-HNL-LIH on Hawaiian Airlines. I was able to get a $531/pp airfare all the way. And I will be able to check my baggage all the way to Lihue on Hawaiian instead of picking it up in Honolulu and re-checking it.

Obviously, you live a lot closer to Santa Maria so the there drive may will be a lot easier than to LAX.....

Edited: 28 September 2012, 02:47
Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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9. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Sorry, I should have said the drive to Santa Maria is A LOT closer for you than LAX.... I should stop watching the TV at the same time as I'm typing.

San Diego...
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10. Re: Quick First Time Trip Kauai from CA (October/November)

Hi,

I live in San Diego. Santa Maria is ~5 hour drive north. I flew SkyWest/United Express (great little airline) out of Carlsbad Airport in North San Diego County (GREAT little airport). I believe my ticket was $700+. I flew into LAX and then connected with United and flew directly into Lihue.

You got a great price. Based on the dates I flew and when I booked, I didn't find anything that good. Friends have gotten some great rates from San Diego to HNL lately.

I could have driven to LAX (about 2 hours north) but didn't want the hassle (traffic, parking, etc.) I wanted a very early flight and was able to fly out of Carlsbad at 6:00 a.m. so I arrived in Lihue at noon. Carlsbad Airport was a short taxi ride so that was a no-brainer for me.

On the return, United didn't have any flights directly to LAX at the times I wanted so we had to fly to HNL and then LAX. United doesn't fly inter-island so they put us on IslandAir for that portion of the flight.